New Mexico: Legislators ship marijuana legalization measures to governor’s desk

Members of the New Mexico House and Senate today gave their final approval to two separate moves to amend the state’s marijuana laws. The first legalizes and regulates the possession, production, and sale of adult marijuana. The second facilitates automatic review and deletion of the records of people convicted of low-level marijuana crimes.

Legislators pushed both measures forward during a special term called for by Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, who has been vocal in favor of the reforms.

Carly Wolf, Manager of NORML State Policies, commented on the passage of the bills: “This is a historic day for New Mexico! These important policy changes will ensure that consumers will no longer be arrested and prosecuted, while eliminating past injustices caused by the drug war. I recommend lawmakers work together to create laws that prioritize social justice and inclusion. The enactment of these laws will ensure that minor marijuana offenders, including many young people, no longer have a criminal record and the associated life sentences and stigmatization. “

Erik Altieri, NORML’s Executive Director, added, “New Mexico joins an ever-growing list of states that have recognized the failure of the marijuana ban and the harm it has caused to their communities and citizens. They are the third state this year to pass legalization through the legislative process, and we expect more to follow in a short time. The American people are calling for an end to the forbidden policies that have ravaged the color communities, wasted countless millions in tax dollars, and wasted limited resources on justice and law enforcement to criminalize otherwise law-abiding individuals for owning a product that is objectively less harmful than it is currently more legal Alcohol and tobacco. Fortunately, state legislators are finally implementing the will of their voters, putting further pressure on the federal government to finally phase out marijuana at national level and to end these ongoing tensions between state and federal politics. “

The adult use measure (House Bill 2) allows people 21 and older to legally purchase up to two ounces of marijuana and / or up to 16 grams of cannabis extract from licensed retailers. Also, adults can grow up to six fully grown plants at home for personal use.

The deletion measure (Senate Act 2) provides that persons with previous convictions for criminal offenses legalized under this law are entitled to automatic deletion of their records. Those currently incarcerated for such crimes can dismiss their sentence.

Both bills are now awaiting action from the governor, who is expected to see both measures immediately incorporated into the law. Earlier this week, she signed a law that removed fines for possession of cannabis by minors and changed the community service requirement to a maximum of 48 hours.

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